10 Most Physically Challenging Sports

Some of the staff here play a lot of sport and also have a very keen interest in sports trivia, and with this, we have covered lots of interesting topics that interest us and our readers alike, such as the “Fittest Sport”, the top “Endurance Sports” and much more.

As a sports crowdfunding platform, we’ve helped athletes and teams from every sport known to man woman or child raise money and attract sponsorship, this gives us a great insight into both team and individual sports.  After much research and interviewing athletes, here’s a rundown of the 10 most physically challenging sports in the world today.


rugby physical sports

Rugby involves a combination of speed, agility, power, and conditioning. But unique to rugby is the constant physical tension that develops during prolonged individual and group battles. It requires physical strength, brute power, and the ability to endure knocks and whacks for the best part of 80 minutes. Players’ bodies are pushed to the brink during matches, resulting in massive excursion and physical demands.

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Ice/Field Hockey

ice hockey sports

Whether it be on the field or on ice, any game part of the hockey family requires immense physical engagement. For those who are brave enough to play either of these hockey types know the incredible demands of the sport. Hockey involves 45-second shifts of high-intensity effort and direction changes and hard hits. When fatigue sets in your legs begin to burn up and you must get through this barrier to succeed. Of course, ice hockey requires an extra skill of trying to balance on a steel blade and whizzing around on ice.

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Basketball might seem surprising to some people, as it is meant to be a non-contact sport or a limited-contact sport, it still involves a lot of high-intensity bursts of movement. You need to have bags of speed, agility, and vertical jumping power. The game includes constant motion, switching from side to side very quickly, players then battle for position on the court.  That you have to play a few times a week in the pro circuit makes basketball even more physically challenging.

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American Football


American football is one the most physically challenging sports for sure, while the players are padded and wear helmets, the physical hits still take a toll on the player’s bodies. It is a sport that is played by the fastest, largest and strongest athletes in the world. While most plays only last around 4 seconds, almost every player on the field is competing in high-intensity bouts. The game requires a vast amount of physical demand and an exceptional amount of athleticism.

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It cannot go without saying that boxing is one of the most physically challenging sports in the world. According to several studies about “science of muscles and movement” experts label boxing as the most demanding sport for an athlete. Boxing requires strength, power, endurance, and the ability to withstand huge hits over a period of time. Not to mention the huge dedication that goes into the 3 or 4 month training camps before a fight. When the rounds go by, a boxer has to dig dip and overcome the pain and fatigue. Boxing definitely deserves it’s place as one of the most physically challenging sports.

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Alpine Skiing


Alpine Skiing makes a shock appearance on our list of the most physically demanding sports. Studies of physiological profiles of elite alpine skiers reveal that in order to be at the elite level, you must have great muscular strength, anaerobic power, anaerobic endurance, coordination, agility, balance, and flexibility. There are many programmes the elite athletes have to endure such as the on-hill snow training and the dryland training. Elite skiers have strong legs, are relatively lean, and carry lots of strength. Alpine skiing obviously requires a lot of physical demand with studies showing the average skier gets injured 17 times per 1000 ski days.

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Tennis is a very physical and mental sport, it involves short-duration bursts of all-out energy in the form of quick sprints, transitional movements whilst trying to hit a ball. Every tennis player must carry great strength, speed, power, and control. While some people might think tennis is not physically challenging due to the rest periods players get between games, it is quite the opposite.  The tennis calendar also follows summer around the world and is also usually played under the blazing sun, with matches usually lasting over 2 hours.  Try doing this for a few hours while sprinting around the court holding 20 shot rallies!

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MMA and wrestling alike require a lot of physical demands. MMA requires full-body strength, un-matched conditioning, and fitness levels to ensure those fast reflexes, speed, and power. The sport involves stand-up fighting, grappling, and ground-based grappling. During each five-minute round, fighters need to maintain an unparalleled level of physical and mental alertness to avoid falling victim to a technically perfect fight-ending blow from an opponent.

Wrestling is similar to MMA, only harder. These sports are non-stop action and demand a lot from the body. Wrestling requires lots of stamina too and great deals of strength and power. It is a constant battle of all-out physical and mental effort, as fighters delicately balance attempts to overpower and out-position each other.

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gymnastics sports mental

Gymnastics has many forms and when it comes to the highest level at the Olympics games all of them require physical fitness and reflexes combined with balance and mental strength. Gymnasts put lots of stress on their bodies, they train daily for hours at a time. You need great dedication and self-belief to be a successful gymnast. It is a true skill to do what gymnasts can do, whether you are born with a natural talent or work very hard it cannot go without saying that gymnastics as a sport is one of the most physically challenging sports in the world.

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Motorcross Riding


Motocross riding might be a new sport to a few of you people, it is undoubtedly a very physically intensive and challenging sport.

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These bike riders are people who race for anything up to  30 minutes or more with their heart rate ranging from a low of 165 and max of 200 or maybe, even more, depending on the rider. To be able to sustain that max heart rate you must dedicate everything to your training on and off the track. From diet, to riding to training everything must be at a 100 percent and these riders put their life on the line every single time they swing a leg over the bike. There are no time-outs, no breaks, nothing; just racing.

Some of the multi disciplines sports such as Decathlon and the Ultra Icosathlon definitely rank up there too.

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